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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Customer Service?


The best customer service is not to have any incidents with your products or services requiring customer service.

When needed, however, customer service is about solving a problem or answering a concern – promptly and completely. Here's two approaches.

My smartphone has numerous apps and it gets a notice when apps are updated. Recently when clicking on an app update button, I got a message that it was not available from the app store (even though they sent the update notice). I sent an email to get help and got a prompt 'personal' response from Justin – an automated help desk response to gather more information.

When I sent back the information, Justin came back asking for more. Took 4 times and I got a link for the app update – but it did not work. I deleted the app – too much work for too little results.

At Zappo Shoes, the staff answers the emails, immediately dispatches replacement shoes if there's a problem, and openly solicit & display compliments or complaints - they learn from both. Growth in sales and customer satisfaction hits the top of the charts. It's easy and almost fun to get help here.

As more business is done remotely, it may be easy to rely on automation to handle routine or simple problems, but the high cost of this approach is losing contact with the customer. One of the most effective ways of knowing about your customers' experience is to use your product or service – the next best is to hear where they have problems or concerns.

Always wise to keep in mind that the customer is not a problem or a distraction. Perhaps doubly true if you don't see them face-to-face.
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